August Offerings – Part X: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Janet Monafo

According to one writer, “Massachusetts artist Janet Monafo says she is not very good at explaining her painting process, but the truth is she is forthright, clear, and profound when she talks about the creation of her still life and figure paintings. It’s just that intuition and experience play such important roles in her creative process that it is inconceivable for her to think she responds in a predictable, methodical way. That is, she is more apt to say her decisions are based on what feels right at the time rather than on calculations about relative value, color temperature, or compositional principles.”







From the Music Archives – Part I of IV: Ian Anderson

“A lot of pop music is about stealing pocket money from children.” – Ian Anderson, British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work as the lead vocalist, flautist, and acoustic guitarist of Jethro Tull, who was born 10 August 1947.

From the Music Archives – Part II of IV: Joe Jackson

“Basically, rock’n’roll is about looking good, living fast, and dying young.” – Joe Jackson, English musician and singer-songwriter, who was born 11 August 1954.

Here is one critic describing the background of Paraguayan painter Luis Fracchia: “He was born in Asuncion, Paraguay, in 1959. In 1972 he travelled to Rome, Italy, where he lived until 1980; this is where, upon finishing his school studies, he began his artistic activity. From an early age, Italy’s historical artistic accumulation of a thousand years caused a deep impression on the artist, who, after continuous trips to Italian cities and later to admire and study the great frescos of the Italian Quattrocento, decided to register at the prestigious Scuola di San Giacomo in Rome, in the specialty of ‘Wall Frescos’ in the old Renaissance style, and also made a foray into etching at the Lorusso workshop. He was to have his first two exhibits in the Italian capital.
In 1980 he travelled to Mexico, after admiring a major exhibit of Siqueiros in Florence. Since then he has lived in the Mexican Republic, for the first years in Mexico City and at present, in the city of Cuernavaca.
His work has, at the present time, achieved a position and recognition in Mexican visual art, with many important solo and group participations in this country and abroad, where his strong projection begins, participating in international auctions such as Sotheby’s. Works of his are to be found in private collections in Mexico, South America, the United States and Europe.”

Luis Fracchia

Luis Fracchia

Luis Fracchia

Luis Fracchia

Luis Fracchia

Luis Fracchia

Luis Fracchia

From the Music Archives – Part III of IV: Isaac Hayes

““Have you ever wondered why young people take to music like fish to water? Maybe it’s because music is fun. Plain and simple. It opens up their minds to dream great dreams about where they can go and what they can do when they get older.” – Isaac Hayes, American singer-songwriter, actor, producer, and the voice of Chef on “South Park,” who died 10 August 2008.

From the Music Archives – Part IV of IV: Ronnie Spector

“I just want to get on stage and sing and be happy.” – Ronnie Spector, American vocalist and lead singer of the Ronettes, who was born 10 August 1943.

According to one critic, French sculptor Gregory Poussier “finds inspiration from the myths and famous literary characters of our collective culture.”








Died 10 August 1945 – Robert Hutchings Goddard, an American professor, physicist, inventor, and rocket pioneer. In the words of one historian, “(Goddard) is credited with creating and building the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket, which he successfully launched on March 16, 1926. Goddard and his team launched 34 rockets between 1926 and 1941, achieving altitudes as high as 2.6 km (1.6 mi) and speeds as high as 885 km/h (550 mph).
Goddard’s work as both theorist and engineer anticipated many of the developments that were to make spaceflight possible. He has been called the man who ushered in the Space Age. Two of Goddard’s 214 patented inventions — a multi-stage rocket (1914) and a liquid-fuel rocket (1914) — were important milestones toward spaceflight.”

British Art – Part I of II: Chris Chapman

In the words of one writer, “Chris Chapman has been a successful illustrator since graduating from Leicester College of Art, England in 1979, where he studied graphic design. After moving to London during the early years of his career, he now lives and works in Bournemouth, Dorset.”










From the Movie Archives – Part I of III: Billy Jack

“People are lost today, and they always tell me we need another Billy Jack, who stood for moral and spiritual values and psychic truths.” – Tom Laughlin, American actor, director, screenwriter, author, educator, and political activist best known for portraying Billy Jack in a four films, who was born on 10 August 1931.

Below – Billy Jack standing – and kicking – for moral and spiritual values.

From the Movie Archives – Part II of III: Rin Tin Tin

Died 10 August 1932 – Rin Tin Tin, a German Shepherd and movie star. In the words of one historian, “Rin Tin Tin (September 1918 – August 10, 1932) was a male German Shepherd Dog rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier, Lee Duncan, who nicknamed him ‘Rinty.’ Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin (often hyphenated as Rin-Tin-Tin) and obtained silent film work for the dog. Rin Tin Tin was an immediate box office success and went on to appear in 27 Hollywood films, gaining worldwide fame.”

In the United States, Rinty’s death set off a national response. Regular programming was interrupted by a news bulletin. An hour long program about Rin Tin Tin played the next day. Despite suffering grave economic hardship consequent to the Great Depression, Lee Duncan sold his house and quietly arranged for his dog’s body to be sent to his country of birth for burial. Rin Tin Tin is buried in the Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques, the famous pet cemetery in the Parisian suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine.

Below – Rinty as a puppy (with Lee Duncan); Rin Tin Tin on the poster for the film “Frozen River,” 1929; Rin Tin Tin the Star (In the words of one historian, “Rin Tin Tin is credited with saving Warner Brothers from bankruptcy in the 1920s.”); Rin Tin Tin’s
aRTT1FROZEN RIVER, poster art, from left: Davey Lee, Rin Tin Tin, 1929

From the Movie Archives – Part III of III: Crash Corrigan

Died 10 August 1976 – Ray “Crash” Corrigan, an American actor famous for appearing in B-Western movies. In the words of one historian, “In 1937, Corrigan purchased land in the Santa Susana Mountains foothills in Simi Valley and developed it into a movie ranch called ‘Corriganville.’ The movie ranch was used for location filming in film serials, feature films and television shows, as well as for the performance of live western shows for tourists.”

I think that “Corriganville” is a terrible name.

Below – Ray “Crash” Corrigan; my own “Crash” Corrigan.

British Art – Part II of II: Jilly Ballantyne

In the words of one critic, “Jilly Ballantyne was born (1967) and educated in Scotland, graduating from Grays School of Art in 1989 with a BA with Honors Hons in Art and Design. For the last 17 years she has been living, painting and teaching on the Cote dAzur. As a former Graphic Designer, Jilly’s paintings retain a graphic style, and her recent works (“Roomscapes”) have been influenced by painting in Matisse’s former home in the French town of Vence on the Cote d’Azur.”






aBallan 6


From the American History Archives: Chinese Exclusion

10 August 1893 – In accordance with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Geary Act of 1892, San Francisco begins deporting Chinese workers. Fortunately, there were many organizations that contested this injustice, including the San Francisco branch of The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and The Chinese Equal Rights League in New York and Brooklyn, and their enlightened views eventually prevailed.

Below – A progressive political cartoon published in response to the deportations; two contemporary photographs of San Francisco’s Chinatown.




Bulgarian painter Dimitar Voinov, Jr. (born 1971) has had work shown in collective exhibitions throughout Europe.

aVoi1 copy







From the American Old West: The Battle of the Big Hole

9-10 August 1877 – American troops commanded by Colonel John Gibbon and Nez Perce warriors led by Looking Glass and Chief Joseph engage in the Battle of the Big Hole. In the words of one historian, “The Battle of the Big Hole was fought in Montana, August 9–10, 1877, between the U.S. Army and the Nez Perce tribe of Native Americans during the Nez Perce War. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. The Nez Perce withdrew in good order from the battlefield and continued their long fighting retreat that would result in their attempt to get to Canada and asylum.”

Below – Map of the Battle of the Big Hole; Chief Joseph and Colonel John Gibbon met again on the Big Hole Battlefield site in 1889; the Big Hole Battlefield today.



American Art – Part II of IV: John Kane

Died 10 August 1934 – John Kane, American miner and self-taught painter who specialized in landscape paintings of industrial Pittsburgh, many of which are held by major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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“The physical reinvention of the world is endless, relentless, fascinating, exhaustive; nothing that seems solid is. If you could stand at just a little distance in time, how fluid and shape-shifting physical reality would be, everything hurrying into some other form, even concrete, even stone.” – Mark Doty, American poet, memoirist, and recipient of the 2008 National Book Award for Poetry, who was born 10 August 1953.

From “Atlantis”

I thought your illness a kind of solvent
dissolving the future a little at a time;

I didn’t understand what’s to come
was always just a glimmer

up ahead, veiled like the marsh
gone under its tidal sheet

of mildly rippling aluminum.
What these salt distances were

is also where they’re going:
from blankly silvered span

toward specificity: the curve
of certain brave islands of grass,

temporary shoulder-wide rivers
where herons ply their twin trades

of study and desire. I’ve seen
two white emissaries unfold

like heaven’s linen, untouched,
enormous, a fluid exhalation. Early spring,

too cold yet for green, too early
for the tumble and wrack of last season

to be anything but promise,
but there in the air was white tulip,

marvel, triumph of all flowering, the soul
lifted up, if we could still believe

in the soul, after so much diminishment …
Breath, from the unpromising waters,

up, across the pond and the two-lane highway,
pure purpose, over the dune,

gone. Tomorrow’s unreadable
as this shining acreage;

the future’s nothing
but this moment’s gleaming rim.

Now the tide’s begun
its clockwork turn, pouring,

in the day’s hourglass,
toward the other side of the world,

and our dependable marsh reappears
—emptied of that starched and angular grace

that spirited the ether, lessened,
but here. And our ongoingness,

what there’ll be of us? Look,
love, the lost world

rising from the waters again:
our continent, where it always was,

emerging from the half-light, unforgettable,
drenched, unchanged.


American Art – Part III of IV: Jacqueline Gnott

American painter Jacqueline Gnott lives and works in South Bend, Indiana.







A Poem for Today

“I Am In Need of Music,”
By Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

American Art – Part IV of IV: Ted Polomis

Artist Statement: “After working with large abstract landscapes, I turned my attention to still life painting five years ago. I began to practice the techniques of the Old Masters, and proceeded to work only from life. The results have been rewarding and measurable.
I try to do simple, strong setups using objects that have an enduring appeal. My hope is that through my paintings, the viewer may pause and appreciate the intricacies of everyday things.”








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